Capturing the power of ocean waves could become an important part of the world's renewable energy portfolio. But capturing that clean energy is not just the vision of 21st century scientists. "There are patents going back to 1799," says Annette von Jouanne, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Oregon State University, and a world leader in wave energy research. Interest and support of this technology has not been consistent. There was enthusiasm after the 1970s oil embargo, but it dropped when oil prices stabilized.